A patented mining claim is one for which the Federal Government has passed its title to the claimant, giving the claimant exclusive title to the locatable minerals and, in most cases, the surface and all resources. 

However, effective October 1, 1994, Congress imposed a moratorium on spending appropriated funds for the acceptance or processing of mineral patent applications that had not yet reached a defined point in the patent review process before a certain cut-off date. Until the moratorium is lifted or otherwise expires, the BLM will not accept any new patent applications.